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Monday, May 15, 2017

Grace Poe blames Mar Roxas on MRT woes

Published May 15, 2017 2:57pm
By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News


Senator Grace Poe on Monday said the problems besetting the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) can be traced back to the term of former secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, said the now defunct Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) “dropped the ball” during the time of Roxas.

Poe cited at least three MRT maintenance contracts with companies, whose common incorporator is a certain Marlo dela Cruz, a supposed ally of the Liberal Party (LP).

“Si Marlo dela Cruz ay talagang kasama siya sa mga nananalo sa mga bidding na yung kanyang kumpanya bagung-bago, bagong incorporate, napakaliit ng kapitalisasyon, ang meron lamang siya ay koneksyon doon sa mga nakaraang nakaupo sa DOTC,” Poe said.

“Sa tingin ko, ito yung talagang nag-ugat ng problema dito. Anong kinalaman ng isang tao na nakapasa nga sa bid pero wala naman talagang track record, bigla na lang nananalo,” she added.

Dela Cruz is one of the incorporators of PH Trams, the maintenance provider of MRT from October 2012 to September 2013. According to Poe, he was also an incorporator of the joint venture of Global-APT JV from September 2013 to July 2015.

Dela Cruz’s brother, William, is also reportedly the general manager of Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI), the existing maintenance provider of MRT.

Poe said however that she is not keen on inviting Roxas to the next committee hearing scheduled May 23.

“Sa ngayon, hindi pa natin iniisip. Alam mo pinag-iingatan ko na huwag sasabihing politika ito,” Poe said.

Poe and Roxas were rivals for the presidency in the 2016 national elections. Roxas placed second to the eventual winner, President Rodrigo Duterte, while Poe placed third.

“I am convinced that during their time they dropped the ball. And I also am convinced that Sec. Abaya should not have allowed it to continue or persist during his time,” she added referring to Roxas’ successor, Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Abaya, who attended the hearing, admitted signing the PH Trams-CB&T maintenance contract during his stint based only on a “presumption that the organization was doing its job” before he assumed office.

Abaya, who assumed office in October 2012, admitted not knowing the “facts” on the contract with PH Trams-CB&T.

He said there was a “presumption” on his part “that the organization, the bureaucracy was doing its job.”

“Imagine if I came there as a doubting Thomas being careful that I won’t sign anything, MRT 3 would have stopped on October 19, no maintenance provider, Sumitomo (the previous maintenance provider) would have packed their bags, titigil. That I couldn’t have explained to our people,” Abaya said.

Poe told Abaya: “We should call on the responsibility, the one before you…Sundalo kayo, inaako niyo yung mga bagay na maaring hindi naman sa inyo talaga nahulog.”

“Kilala mo yung pinalitan so siguro may tiwala ako, so sige, okay na 'yan,” Poe said. —ALG, GMA News

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